Extending land footprints towards characterizing sustainability of land use

Fischer G, Tramberend S, van Velthuizen H, Wunder S, Kaphengst T, McFarland K, Bruckner M, & Giljum S (2017). Extending land footprints towards characterizing sustainability of land use. Umweltbundesamt , Dessau-Roßlau.

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Abstract

The global trade of biomass-based products leads to an increasing regional decoupling of the area of production and consumption. Area-based land footprint calculations attribute the extents of land use required to prevailing national consumption patterns. Another report (Fischer et al., 2016) of the present study describes the methodology for the calculation of area-based footprints and presents results for Germany and the EU. Beyond area extents, additional information is needed to assess the sustainability of land use, requiring further analyses regarding environmental impacts and preservation of land quality and ecosystem services. This report discusses extensions of area-based land footprints with meaningful impact-oriented indicators for the assessment of the effects of different consumption patterns on the ecosystems and sustainability of land use.
First, existing indicators for representing the environmental impacts of land use are introduced in the context of their linkages and complementarity to area-based land footprints. The report discusses the following key indicators, which were identified as particularly relevant during an export workshop: System indicators, which qualify the area-based footprints across globally very different potential land productivities,deforestation footprint, energy use in agriculture, and irrigation water use in agriculture classified by degree of water scarcity. We introduce the methods developed for the quantification of system indicators for cropland and grassland footprints and for the deforestation footprint, and present results for Germany and the EU.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: Water (WAT)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2017 14:36
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 14:41
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/14807

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